Ortiz vs Thompson Duel – Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions have hooked up with HBO for a March 5th date at the DC Armory in Washington DC. The main event was settled earlier this week when Heavyweight Tony Thompson (40-6) stepped up to face Golden Boy’s prized prospect, Luis Ortiz (24-0). Ortiz brings his interim WBA World title to defend into a match he will be heavily favored in.
Thompson is a grizzled veteran who is 44 years old. Early in his career he kept a good record but was known more as a sparring partner. Thompson earned a shot at Wladimir Klitschko back in July of 2008, and he has extended his career parlaying a good performance there into paydays. Thompson took tough fights against up and comers such as England’s David Price and Cuba’s Odlanier Solis where Thompson scored upset wins. Thompson gave both men re-matches, and he defeated both again, practically ending the careers of both men. Twice he left David Price on the other side of consciousness, showing he can still be dangerous.
Ortiz has been waiting for an opponent, and several fighters reportedly turned down the chance to tangle with Ortiz, including Russia’s Alexander Ustinov (33-1).
Golden Boy has gone to great pains to tell the world that Ortiz is the real deal at heavyweight. Thompson is a savvy veteran, but Ortiz should be on another level at this point. Though Thompson may have another underdog performance in him, the risk is not really whether Ortiz loses or not. But Ortiz is risking looking bad against an opponent that has done it to other fighters before.
The card features two other “world” title bouts. The vacant WBO World Welterweight title is on the line between Jessie Vargas (26-1) and Sadam Ali (22-0). This is a very interesting showdown, as the 26 year old Vargas is coming off the first loss of his career, losing to Timothy Bradley back in June of 2015. Ali is the undefeated 2008 US Olympian who is looking to step up here. Both men have been inactive recently, fighting just once in the last fifteen months.
In the Featherweight division, the interim WBC World title is on the line between Robinson Castellanos (23-11) and Oscar Escandon (24-2). Don’t let Castellanos record fool you, he piled up losses early in his career and has lost just once in the last five years. Escandon’s two losses come in fights for the WBA’s interim belt at Super Bantamweight, so he is moving up in weight class for another shot.
Overall, GBP is planning 10 fights in all for the DC armory, and seven of the undefeated talents on their roster are slated to fight but are still awaiting opponents.
The card as it currently stands appears below, and remains subject to change.
GBP in DC March 5 – Ortiz vs Thompson Duel Tops Card
March 5th, 2016 – DC Armory
Heavyweight 12 Rounds: Luis Ortiz (24-0) vs Tony Thompson (40-6)
Welterweight 12 Rounds: Jessie Vargas (26-1) vs Sadam Ali (22-0)
Featherweight 12 Rounds: Robinson Castellanos (23-11) vs Oscar Escandon (24-2)
Lightweight 8 Rounds: Lamont Roach Jr (9-0) vs TBA
Super Lightweight 8 Rounds: Zachary Ochoa (13-0) vs TBA
Welterweight 8 Rounds: Rashidi Ellis (14-0) v TBA
Super Middle 6 Rounds: D’Mitrus Ballard (11-0) vs TBA
Super Feather 6 Rounds: Kevin Rivers Jr (12-1) vs TBA
Super Light 6 Rounds: Damon Allen (8-0) vs TBA
Light Heavy 6 Rounds: Todd Unthank-May (8-0) vs TBA
Check out this video where Montell Griffin talks about Luis Ortiz at The Boxing Channel